The notion of bring-your-own devices is common at most companies; according to research firm estimates, two-thirds to three-quarters of all companies now allow people to use their own mobile devices for work, meaning at least for email access. We should expect companies to allow the same for PCs, right?
Yes and no.
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Bring-your-own PCs have been around as long as there have been PCs -- aka the home computer. People have been taking work home with them (that's why all those lost USB sticks and CDs end up causing embarrassing breach notifications) and accessing email from home since the mid-1980s. That's BYOPC, even if it's been widely ignored in official IT circles.
But today's BYOPC means something else: employees buying their own PCs for use for work as well as for personal needs. Some organizations have been experimenting with that BYOPC notion for years, in fact. It's been driven mainly by executive-level employees who want to use a Mac, which few companies historically allowed outside of specific functions like marketing or development. Those initial exceptions sometimes translated into a more programmatic experiment.
Those experiments typically were about choosing your own PC from an approved list, as well as getting greater admin rights or flexibility, such as the ability to install your own software, often at the price of providing your own tech support. Many companies, especially tech firms like Cisco Systems, Intel, IBM, and BT, have adopted choose-your-own programs and provided flexibility in terms of personal software and usage for employees who travel a lot.
That approach to PC flexibility is likely to grow. But not strict BYOPC, says Chriz Hazelton, a mobile analyst at 451 Research. He notes several reasons why BYOPC is not a natural follow-on to BYOD.